Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-05-2009, 09:52 AM   #71
AIR #8691
 
2006 25' Safari SS SE
Northern , Virginia
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 374
Airstream Inc. needs long-range marketing strategies and above average products to survive It benefits current A/S owners that the company prospers. I shouldn’t care what other products Airstream (or Thor Industries ) makes as long as it supports their primary RV business and customer base. Non-traditional shaped trailers or 5th wheels made by Airstream wont bother me.

Survival of the business is the primary concern. If or when the decision comes that trailers or major components can be produced better, faster and cheaper in China with perfect fit and finish and fewer warranty problems, how will people react? Will such products attract a new customer base, such as the younger family and singles looking for an affordable up-scale RV with low maintenance? I don’t hear complains about our major aircraft and auto components made all over the world. I like “Made in USA” but we now deal in a very competitive global economy.

Lets hope the company does what is in their best interest. Remember Mr. Spock greeting: “Live long and prosper.”
__________________

__________________
JStanley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 10:43 AM   #72
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,814
What is Airstream's priority?

I looked for a website about RV reviews since quality has been part of this discussion. There are websites for all sorts of things—restaurants, hotels, RV parks, etc. All I could find for RV brands was RV Rating - Customer Survey of RV Makes and Models

Many manufacturers are included, but for a lot of them there are only a few results. Winnebago has the most, 271. Airstream has 67. Ratings are in the form of numbers and stars. The highest overall number anyone can get is 75. Most brands get 50's and 60's with the numbers dropping off around 67 or 68. There aren't many ratings in the 40's or 70's and some of them are meaningless because they only reflect the views of a few people. Star ratings (1-5) are broken down by quality, value, and "recommend to others", and are broken down further by brand after another click. People seem to like their RV 's for the most part because the ratings overall are pretty high, but where there are a fair number of results, the differences between brands has some significance. This website may only be starting out and over time the statistics will be more relevant, but it does give us some information.

Airstream gets an overall rating of 61.9, just about in the middle which means to me average or mediocre. Not good for a "premium" brand. In the breakdown of results, the highest marks are for design (4.5 stars), lowest for manufacturer and dealer support and maintenance costs (3.5 stars).

How do Thor brands fare? Dutchman, 55; Crossroads, 64.1; Damon, 59.9; Four Winds, 56.2; Komfort, 63.5; Breckenridge, 42.8; Keystone RV, 60.6; Thor, 59.5. Some of these have very few results, Breckenridge, for ex., has only 5. Add it all together, though, and Thor is below average or submediocre (57.7, not including Airstream).

How do other brands fare? It's a long list and I may have missed some of the better ones, but I tried to pick out those with ratings over 70 (the A List) and having more than 30 results: Casita, 71; BornFree, 71; Driftwood by Fleetwood, 74.9; Nu-Wa, 71; Snowriver, 72.6. Driftwood gets a virtually perfect score.

What are the scores of the most popular brands gauged from the number of results on this website: Winnebago, 60.5; Holiday Rambler, 61.3; Fleetwood, 57.5; Gulfstream, 50.6.

And Prevost? There were only 17 results, and the score was 71.1.

This site is not easy to find through Google, but there's a thirst for this kind of stuff and I imagine it will grow. If AM isn't conscious of it yet, it's time to look and ponder. The Airstream ratings are not at all what a premium brand should be getting.

The case of Mercedes Benz is a good comparison for what happens when a famous brand with a high quality reputation slips. For years MB was known for quality, but quality began slipping until MB was rated very low by Consumer Reports and other rating agencies. Sales dropped as people heard about MB's new and bad reputation. MB has improved quality recently, but it'll take time, because a bad reputation whacks you fast and takes a long, long time to fix.

Companies have different answers to a reputation for quality issues. Some advertise with lies or try misdirection (talk about design, how green they are, often a lie itself). Others co-brand (putting trailers in KOA's is an example, though KOA has a mixed reputation). Some bring out another brand (Saturn), but the new brand is automatically crippled with the core brand's quality reputation. Some companies work hard on quality, but GM's lack of success with that is a warning. It's not a warning to ignore quality, but a warning to act before it's too late. Reputations change faster than ever with the use of the internet, and a reputation can be reformed in months, not years or decades.

So, AM, what's the priority at Airstream?

It appears Thor is only interested in average trailers including the "premium" ones.

It appears there is a desire to appeal to younger people, but it hasn't worked too well. The Basecamp must have been thought up by people older than me who designed what they thought young people would like—that was like my father telling me what kind of music I should listen to in the 1950's when rock 'n' roll came along.

It appears another attempt has been made to attract people by hiring designers with high class (or is it nouveau riche?) design reputations. This would be the Architectural Digest approach. The various interior design options—CCD, DWR, have had limited success—have they been bought by a different demographic?—I don't know. It seems to me they are too arcane for a wide acceptance.

It appears there is a change in co-branding lately. This would be the Common Man plus Quality Approach. The Swiss Army Knife Co. is a better fit for marketing since it is well known and has an excellent reputation and is very practical (as is Pendleton). KOA is more along those lines, though not as strong in the quality fit.

The kind of co-branding I am suggesting is to match Airstream with quality products and that means Airstream must improve quality by a lot to be accepted by the other brand for co-branding, improve dealer quality and go out of its way to help disgruntled owners who are publicizing their disappointment. Co-branding is effective only if backed by substance. The irony is that it could cause Airstream to improve its own quality so it would be accepted as a partner by quality companies.

I don't see how the Scout fits into any of this at all.

Gene
__________________

__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 11:31 AM   #73
Just an old timer...
 
85MH325's Avatar

 
Tipton , Iowa
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,019
Images: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
I don't see how the Scout fits into any of this at all.

Gene
<Moderator Hat ON>

Gene, Michelle, JS... that's fascinating stuff... but kind of off-topic here. AM is looking for your reaction to the Scout's construction, amenities, and styling, not how to run the company or improve QC... at least not in this thread.

Your further opinions on Airstream's marketing and production might be better shared with them in a PM or letter than in this thread. Please let the members get back to giving Airstream Marketing their opinions about this particular product.

Thanks.

Roger

<Moderator Hat OFF>
__________________
AIR 2053 Current: 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis, & 1995 Coachmen B-van
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
85MH325 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 12:07 PM   #74
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,814
Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325 View Post

It's also great to see some real design innovation. It sounds like some real R&D time was spent on materials, equipment, design, and layout on the Scout prototype. Well done!

Roger
Roger, does your enthusiastic opinion about the Scout affect your opinion about what this thread is about?

I believe threads are dynamic and the members determine where they go.

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 12:19 PM   #75
Rivet Master
 
Ken J's Avatar
 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Durango , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: 1975 25' Tradewind
Posts: 3,329
Images: 14
I wonder - has Airstream ever thought of making a fiberglass egg trailer? I know Airstream did a couple of prototypes back in the 50's with the Wally Bee....

Ken J.
__________________
1956 Flying Cloud
Founder :
Four Corners Unit
Albuquerque National Balloon Fiesta
Rally
Vintage Trailer Academy - Formerly the original
restoration rally
Ken J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 12:27 PM   #76
3 Rivet Member
 
airstream66's Avatar
 
1966 30' Sovereign
Bethany , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 136
Images: 22
I would like to see more pictures of the Scout to better evaluate it. But like some, don't think the Airstream name should be put on it. I do like Bluto's idea of polishing them right out of the factory. Not all of them, just a few. And bring back some of the older name plates that many of us are attached to.
__________________
Cory, Angie, and 'Lucy'
1966 Sovereign International
2003 Black Chevy Silverado w/q-steer
airstream66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 01:24 PM   #77
Rivet Master
 
hampstead38's Avatar
 
1967 26' Overlander
Upperco , Maryland
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,087
Blog Entries: 22
Quote:
AM is looking for your reaction to the Scout's construction, amenities, and styling, not how to run the company or improve QC... at least not in this thread.
Actually, we've been asked for our feedback on the protoype brochure. The forum is compromised of many people who have taken Airstreams apart and put them back together again. This is not a group of ordinary consumers; it is a group of Airstream experts, afficiandos and some, like me, who simply aspire. Rather than a post on the Airforums, Thor would be better advised to invite some of the Airforums most experienced hands to inspect the prototype hands-on. I imagine some, if not all, would travel on their own nickel to see the prototype first hand. After a paintaking hands on inspection, let them tear it apart and look at every element of construction. Video them. YouTube them. Make the process open, honest and completely transparent.

These forums represent thousands of person-years of experience with Airstream... every design success and every design failure. With all due respect to Airstream and Thor, I believe the people here know about their products than they do themselves.

Airstream owners are iconoclasts. We are passionate, devoted and more than a little eccentric. If you ask about the Scout, you're not going to get a well-behaved classroom of fourth graders raising their hands and waiting for teacher to call on them. You're going to to get incisive, intelligent, probing questions and insights. If you give us the Scout brochure, we're going to want to see the Scout. And you let us see the Scout, we're going to want to take it apart. And if you let us take it apart, we're going to want to put it back together our way.

The Scout will sell a few units and it will go the way of the Base Camp... and someone in the marketing department will say, "I just don't understand. This should have worked." This, of course, will lead to increases in pay and hiring additional staff for marketing. The Scout will not succeed because it does not reflect what is quintessentially Airstream. It is a collection of design compromises that place it squarely in a competitive canned ham market.

If I had the investment capital (or a white knight) I would love to take the Airstream geniuses on this forum (and there are many) and design a prototype for Thor. If for no other reason, I would like to distill that which is Airstream and build it in a way that would inform Thor and Airstream what the brand really means.
hampstead38 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 01:30 PM   #78
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
 
Minnie's Mate's Avatar
 
2006 30' Safari
Orlando , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,693
Images: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J View Post
I wonder - has Airstream ever thought of making a fiberglass egg trailer? I know Airstream did a couple of prototypes back in the 50's with the Wally Bee....

Ken J.
I thought of this myself. Put the new technology and materials in a fiberglass bullet shape. Try a limited production, but keep the traditional Airstream shape rather than go with a historic, non-Airstream shape and see how it goes. Maybe go with an off-white color or even a silver color like the Star-stream did (even they wanted to capitalize on the reputation and concept of the Airstream), but not the canned ham shape.
__________________
2006 30' Safari - "Changes in Latitudes"
2008 F-250 Lariat Power Stroke Diesel Crew Cab SWB
Family of Disney Fanatics
WBCCI# 4821
http://streaminacrossamerica.com/
Minnie's Mate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 01:51 PM   #79
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,814
I love Hampstead's idea of a panel of advisors to go through the Scout, offer design ideas, critique the present lineup and advise the company on all things Airstream. I know I went farther than he did, but I just can't help myself. It's the focus group on steroids. It could include restorers, purchasers of new Airstreams, wantabes, experts on engineering, sales, electrcal, plumbing and some renaissance men and women. Actually a lot of Forum members have become experts at many things. I'd go if they were crazy enough to ask me, would others?

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 02:09 PM   #80
Rivet Master
 
hampstead38's Avatar
 
1967 26' Overlander
Upperco , Maryland
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,087
Blog Entries: 22
I would go, if only to buy Gene a cold beer... but I'm not an Airstream expert like some of the titans of the Airforums.
hampstead38 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 04:07 PM   #81
AIR #8691
 
2006 25' Safari SS SE
Northern , Virginia
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 374
Did I miss something?

The recent off-topic ideas are great, and our digressions are partly because AM did not provide enough detail for knowledgeable Airstreamers to evaluate their “Scout concept trailer.” I believe there could be a market for a trailer with the materials and design innovations use in that prototype. My feedback and comments were submitted in their survey.

But AM provided few specifications, little about price and too much on extra features. It was not targeted well for the pragmatic Airforums.com audience. Its difficult to create survey questions to get accurate or unbiased answers, and avoid gaming the survey. Ask someone hypothetically what they want, and as in the 4th grader example, they will say they want everything and want it at the lowest possible price.

They need opinions from various sources to determine the Scout’s sales potential. How can we evaluate the merits of any concept without knowing the specifications and estimated price of the whole package?
__________________
JStanley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 04:27 PM   #82
Rivet Master
 
mandolindave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,079
Images: 4
Actually.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate View Post
I thought of this myself. Put the new technology and materials in a fiberglass bullet shape. Try a limited production, but keep the traditional Airstream shape rather than go with a historic, non-Airstream shape and see how it goes. Maybe go with an off-white color or even a silver color like the Star-stream did (even they wanted to capitalize on the reputation and concept of the Airstream), but not the canned ham shape.
Wally did make a Canned ham called The Holiday, ( I don't think marketed as an Airstream tho ) That's why I told Airstream Marketing guy , that they should call The Sport, The Holiday (Reissue ) instead.

On a side note, the Basecamp looked very much like Wallys
early trailer called The Torpedo ( which might have been actually sold as a kit. ) Maybe they will reissue the Clipper.
Dave
__________________
mandolindave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 06:07 PM   #83
Rivet Master
 
mutcth's Avatar

 
2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,620
As a 38-year old who owns a Honda Odyssey, and has absolutely no desire to buy a larger vehicle for towing, I strongly encourage AS to build the Scout or a similar trailer.

I own a T@B now, which has similar sidewall construction. I love the trailer, but as I'm learning now (I'm doing a five-week trip with it now), I would like a few more amenities. A wardrobe would be nice, as would a small bathroom. (Don't need a dry bath - campgrounds have showers.) A second seating area would be good too for when one of us wakes up early.

But I want to keep what is damn awesome about the trailer: surge brakes are simple to deal with. I don't want to put up with weight distribution hitches. I love having a near-king-size wide bed. And it's really light.

Now I've looked at Bambis. A 2001 16' that I found had a rotting floor. I found a used 2004 that sold almost immediately at $23k. Bluntly, I've got better things to do with $40k than buy a new Bambi CCD, and the Basecamp was way too Spartan and empty. There is plenty of competition in retro small trailers, but none have terrific interior quality (although the T@B is pretty decent.)

In other words: as much as I hate the idea of buying a new (read: depreciating) RV, I'd be at the head of the line for an all-composite Scout with a queen-sized bed for $25k. I don't care what you call it - just build it.

Tom
__________________
mutcth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 07:39 PM   #84
Rivet Master
 
mutcth's Avatar

 
2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,620
One additional thing: AS has to be careful with the pricing. I know they're going on about "advanced materials," but Trailmanor is managing a 2500 lb 24' trailer for $25k with similar construction. (Too bad it's not an attractive trailer.) Plus there are plenty of cheap, cute, and small trailers popping up out there.

Tom
__________________

__________________
mutcth is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mini Cooper and Airstream - cool concept Janet H Airstream "In the News" 27 10-04-2012 06:23 PM
Airstream Scout Prototype moosetags Airstream "In the News" 53 02-20-2010 10:02 PM
New concept in Airstream camping-rent a ranch in NM ernesto ca Our Community 26 06-17-2009 03:53 PM
Ford Airstream Concept err vehicle rmpray General Motorhome Topics 6 09-06-2007 07:59 AM
Airstream Caravel with Intl Scout Image sunnyhillfarm 1965 Caravel 9 11-05-2006 06:33 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by



Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.